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Everyone in the dining room is on the edge of their seats as the announcer exclaims, “The pass is good, he’s going for it…Touchdown!”
Your sports bar is a place to celebrate these big moments. To ensure fans choose your bar, you need to consider your sports bar decor and how it will create a comfortable space for customers.
Figuring out what decor to go with can feel a little tricky. Your sports bar’s business plan can give you a clear idea of your sports bar’s brand, your audience, and your budget. These three elements can help boost the brainstorming of your vision.
To help you make the best out of your sports bar, we put together 10 sports bar decor ideas that will boost your creativity and make your bar fit for a champion.
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10 Decor Ideas for Your Sports Bar
Focus on the Brand and Theme
Before buying or designing anything, you should have a clear vision for your sports bar. Think about the community of fans you want to attract. Is it the spot where everyone celebrates the local college football victories or a place for your state hockey team fans to gather?
The answers all depend on what your goals are for your sports bar. No matter what they are, consider your sports bar’s floor plans as you develop your design theme. Your floor plan will inform you of what will be possible in your space and inspire you.
Find Unique Wall Decor
Choose wall decor that showcases the character of your sports bar. Collect sports memorabilia from local thrift shops, pawn stores, and estate sales. You might focus on a single team to draw in the fans. Or, you can use memorabilia from multiple local teams that welcome a larger customer base.
Many traditional American sports bars fill every inch of wall space with decor. The jerseys on the walls of District 42 Sports Bar deliver a focused look.
Use Basic Color Psychology
It’s no secret that colors trigger emotional responses in people. Brands strategically use color communication to get customers in the right mood.
Everyone has different emotional responses to colors, especially sports fans. So, think wisely about which colors you use in your space. Warm colors are an excellent choice, as they are known to bring on excitement and happiness.
Pro-tip: If you’re trying to appeal to all sorts of fans, try your best to stray away from color combinations that may elicit thoughts of rival teams.
Start building towards your bar ownership dreams with this guide to writing a bar business plan, plus a template that's ready to customize.
Keep the Energy Up
Your sports bar needs to flow for your staff and your guests. Think wisely about the shape of your space and where things will live. Often, it's tempting to divvy up large spaces. But, you want to have enough open space allowing everyone can move comfortably around your sports bar. Also, keeping dining areas and bar open will make everyone in the room feel like they are part of the same community.
You can almost feel the high energy in this picture of the open bar space at Central Par sports bar in New Jersey.
Give Guests the Full Experience
Fans don’t just visit sports bars for the company - they visit for the games. Some sports bars go overboard with TVs letting everyone watch the game they want. Another option is to design the room and seating cleverly so that everyone has eyes on just a couple of TVs or projectors. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. You have to decide what works best for your space and budget!
Sports Bar Lighting
For many interior designers, lighting is where design starts. Light fixtures can define the character of a space. Of course, sports bars are often lower lit. But, choosing fixtures that are a mix of practical and fun can make a difference in the vibe of your place. More importantly, strategically placing light fixtures will help guests see each other and navigate the space easily.
Choosing Tables, Chairs, and Stools
Seating is a core driver of the guest experience. Choose chairs and stools that are comfortable and add flair to your bar. Also, look for pieces that are durable and can withstand constant handling.
One fun idea is to incorporate signature seating unique to your brand. You can infuse your style into your tabletops or bar tops. Or, you can include unique stools, like this Hup Hotel did, to add a distinct character to your space.
Highlight the Bar
Don’t be shy to make your bar stand out. Include glassware and bottle displays that are true to the style of your sports bar. Emphasizing your bar’s design features will entice customers to try your bartender’s creations, whether at the bar or while simply browsing your bar’s social media page.
The bar at Barley Mash has a ton of local character and can’t help but be the center of attention.
Party on the Patio
If you have an outdoor space, don’t be afraid to use it. Patios can make your sports bar stand out from the competition. Extend your sports bar's interior vibe out onto the patio. Choose furniture and art suitable for outdoor exposure.
Bark Social Sports bar utilizes artificial turf on its patio, welcoming a unique niche of guests.
Bathrooms might not seem like a big deal, but they can be why customers decide to return to your bar (or not). Customers love bathrooms that have a surprising design feature, like a funky light fixture or bold wallpaper. Above all, bathrooms should be well-lit and accessible for all your guests.
Score on the Decor
Your sports bar is a place for friends, family, and, most importantly, fans to gather and celebrate all of life’s big wins. With comfortable furniture, colors, and lighting, everyone will feel like a champion at your sports bar.
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